Abigail Rogers led South Kitsap with a 507 over three games to help her team finish second in the West Central District III bowling tournament. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Abigail Rogers led South Kitsap with a 507 over three games to help her team finish second in the West Central District III bowling tournament. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

State Bowling Preview: South Kitsap, Klahowya seeking state titles

PORT ORCHARD — After losing several top bowlers from last winter’s state bowling team, it’s not a surprise that expectations for South Kitsap were down a little heading into the 2020-2021 season.

The Wolves returned state bowlers Annabelle McElhaney and Abigail Rogers, who serve as this year’s team captains, but otherwise had a mishmash of younger or less experienced bowlers.

They went through the tough SPSL season with a 6-6 record and then just squeaked through as the fourth-place team at the league tournament. But at district, the team took its game to the next level and were the talk of the tournament as they jumped all the way up to second place to once again qualify for the 4A state tournament as a team.

“It wasn’t expected at all to make it to state as a team,” McElhaney said. “We wanted to, of course, but our hopes weren’t high.”

South Kitsap had done well through the first two full games, turning in team scores of 767 and 764. In game one, Maxine Winslow threw a 180 and Ariana Conrad bowled a 168 to lead the way. In game two, Rogers led the Wolves with a 180 and Alexis Clark turned in a 172.

But the third game was the turning point as the team huddled up and decided to turn down the pressure and just enjoy what they expected to be their last match together.

“We were trying to relieve all the pressure,” Rogers said. “When you get really tense, that’s when you start messing up and getting into your own head.”

Getting a little loose was just what the doctor ordered as the Wolves bowled an 896 in game three, led by Conrad’s 197. Clark (187), Rogers (184) and McElhaney (180) all turned in strong games as well.

The good vibes carried over to the Baker games where they rolled a 215 in the first, followed by a 113, 146 and 142. In the end, South Kitsap finished with 3,043 pins, good for second place in West Central District III.

Notably, the Wolves finished ahead of every team from the SPSL, including Curtis, which ran the table at 14-0. Not bad for a team that has spent much of the season finding their optimal lineup and consistency.

“The improvement has been huge,” Rogers said. “In the beginning, we had no idea who we were going to start each game.”

The 4A state tournament begins Friday at Narrows Plaza Bowl in University Place. The teams will bowl six regular games and crown the individual state champion. On Saturday, the teams take part in 14 baker games and announce the overall team champion.

“At the end of the day, we’re going to be in the top eight in the state, no matter what,” McElhaney said. “So we’re just going to enjoy our last time bowling together.”

South Kitsap will be represented by Winslow, Clark, Conrad, McElhaney, Rogers, Gillian Ciarelli and Laila Heiser.

Klahowya wins league and district titles to qualify for 1A/2A tournament

The Eagles continued their domination of the Olympic League with an undefeated record and a victory in the league tournament. They went on to capture a title at the West Central District III tournament and now turn their attention to the 1A/2A tournament, which begins today at Narrows Plaza Bowl.

Klahowya’s team consists of individual Olympic League and District III champ Jacklynne Stroup, Hailey Johnson, Faith Chamness, Hanah Catt, Lucille Mitchell, Kendall Fite and Shelby Perkins.

Olympic will send two individuals — Kyra Guski and Rebecca Converse. Meaghan Malone will be the lone representative Bremerton.

Kiana Mercadal of Central Kitsap qualified for the 3A tournament.

More in Sports

q
WIAA sports: When does spring come before winter?

Winter and spring sports have swapped places in the latest iteration of… Continue reading

Bainbridge will participate in the Olympic League for the first time since 2001. (Review file photo)
Olympic League expands for rest of school year

South Kitsap, Bainbridge and Central Kitsap will be part of a 13-team Olympic League

Sam Clarke, Ray Lowrie and Jim Nadeau hold up the 1948 state championship team’s commemorative plaque.
Only BHS state roundball title 72 years ago

In the high school sports world, December means the beginning of the… Continue reading

Charlotte Bourgeois gets set to throw the shot put. Courtesy photo
BHS athletes happier being able to workout

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, prep athletes have not been able to compete… Continue reading

Sounders midfielder João Paulo tries to out-leap a Columbus player for the ball in the MLS Cup. (Mike Fiechtner/Sounders FC Communications)
Sounders magic runs out in 3-0 MLS Cup loss to Columbus

The Sounders’ playoff magic ran out in Columbus, Ohio, as a flat… Continue reading

Sounders captain Nicolas Lodeiro celebrates as his team advanced to the MLS Cup for the fourth time in franchise history. (Mike Fiechtner/Sounders FC Communications)
Sounders win thriller to advance to MLS Cup

It was all aboard the train to the MLS Cup for the… Continue reading

q
WIAA moves winter season to Feb. 1

Virus activities continue to trend upward all across Washington state and COVID-19… Continue reading

.
Bainbridge High School athletes have been working out on campus since late September, but a sharp rise in positive cases led the district to cancel them for at least two weeks. (Review file photo)
Conditioning sessions end as COVID-19 cases rise

Most Kitsap School Districts have called off student-athlete workouts

q
WIAA lays out process for commencing a sports season

The ever-evolving world of high school sports in Washington sprouted a new… Continue reading

Courtesy photoMegan Hyte, a former Poulsbo resident and North Kitsap soccer star, is giving back to her old club, Kitsap Alliance, through her 110 brand and fundraising platform.
Former NK soccer star gives back to her old club team

In order to find the right path in life, Megan Hyte first… Continue reading

Mark Krulish | Bainbridge Island ReviewKingston resident Jon Claymore is hoping to win the World Masters Virtual Challenge javelin competition in his age group.
Kingston’s Claymore has top World Masters Virtual Challenge javelin mark so far

At 55 years old, after millions of throws and thousands of competitions,… Continue reading